Here in Indiana and Illinois, there are tragic accidents every year when someone is hit by a car and dies from their injuries, or is severely hurt in the crash. Pedestrians, impacting with heavy motor vehicles, understandably can be seriously injured or killed in these accidents. Sadly, children are especially vulnerable to being hit by a vehicle, and perishing or suffering all sorts of injuries like:
- Fractured leg, arm, hip, ribs;
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI);
- Spinal cord injury;
- Internal organ damage; and
- Bruises, cuts, scrapes, lacerations, abrasions, and more (some leaving permanent scars and causing disfigurement).
Backover Accidents: Specific Pedestrian Accident Involving Small Children
One particularly serious pedestrian accident involving children, particularly young kids, is the “backover accident.” In these cases, a young child too small to be seen by the driver is seriously hurt or killed when the vehicle hits them while pulling out of a parking space or driveway: the driver simply does not see the victim in their rearview mirror and reverses the heavy vehicle into – and sometimes over – the small victim.
It’s known that each week in the United States, 50+ children are involved in backover accidents. Two or more of these weekly 50 pedestrian accident victims die in the backover crash.
Most are between the ages of 12 and 23 months; and most drivers in these accidents are parents or close loved ones of the child victim.
Pedestrian Crash Deaths in Indiana and Illinois
The Department of Transportation’s National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), as well as its SafeKids program, along with the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Governors’ Highway Safety Association, keep track of serious injuries and fatalities caused by pedestrian accidents in the United States.
From their research, we know that nationally there were 30,057 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2013. In these accidents, 32,719 people died. From the numbers, “fatality rates” have been compiled for each state.
The lowest was 3.1 in the District of Columbia; the highest fatality rate was in Montana (22.6).
Indiana’s fatality rate was 11.9; Illinois was 7.7.
These statistics cover all kinds of crashes involving motor vehicles; however, different kinds of accidents were also studied. Pedestrian deaths were studied specifically, as well as other criteria like number of crashes by type of vehicle involved.
Their numbers found, for instance, that New Jersey had a high rate of pedestrian deaths (24 percent), with the highest number of pedestrian deaths in the District of Columbia (45 percent).
The rate of pedestrian deaths in Indiana was 90 people (10% fatalities in pedestrian accidents). In Illinois 125 people died in pedestrian accidents that year (or a death rate of 13% for pedestrian accidents).
Pedestrian Crash Deaths Involving Children: Kids Hurt or Killed From Being Hit by a Car
It is particularly tragic when children are hurt or killed after being hit by a car (or SUV, pickup, minivan, etc.). According to NHTSA, the number of pedestrian accidents in this country, fatal and otherwise, is rising.
Motor vehicle traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for children age 4 and under. Traffic accidents are the second leading cause of death for kids between the ages of 5 and 14. Their research shows that on the average, three kids are killed and around 470 children are hurt in traffic accidents; more boys that girls are killed in these accidents (55%).
- One-fifth (21%) of children 14 and younger killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians.
- An estimated 9 percent of children 10 to 14 years old (6,000 of 66,000 after rounding) were injured pedestrians – the highest among the age categories.
- Five percent of all pedestrian fatalities (236 of 4,735) and an estimated 15 percent of all pedestrians injured (10,000 of 66,000 after rounding) were children 14 and younger.
- An overwhelming majority (78%) of child pedestrian accidents where the child dies happen at NON-INTERSECTION locations.
Child Hit by a Car – Pedestrian Accident Claims
When a child or minor is involved in an accident, the first priority has to be making sure that they get medical care and treatment as fast as possible. However, it is also essential that their parents, guardians, and caretakers protect them legally and work to make sure that their long term needs are met. Serious accidents can result in long-term medical care needs like multiple surgeries, long-term nursing care, rehabilitation costs, physical therapy needs, and more.
As victims who are under legal age, these claimants must rely upon responsible parties to protect their interests not just in the weeks or months after the accident, but in some situations, for years ahead or even for the remainder of their lifetime. Personal injury claims must be investigated and filed on their behalf under state personal injury and product liability laws.
Sadly, there are also occasions where wrongful death claims must be considered after a fatality, and the applicability of Indiana and Illinois wrongful death laws to the pedestrian accident considered.
Forty-seven percent (47%) of children who died while walking in a pedestrian car accident in 2013 were between the ages of 15 and 19 years old. In fact, teenagers are at double the risk of dying from being hit by a car as kids under the age of 10. So, while these accidents do happen to younger kids, teenagers are at high risk of being hit by a car and seriously injured. Please be aware of the real dangers to your kids of a serious pedestrian accident and let’s all be careful out there!